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Nutrition & Health
Curating articles on #food, #nutrition, #health including related topics such as #malnutrition #obesity #diabetes #foodlabeling #stunting #supplements. #biofortified, #omega-3s. Senior editor/curator - Margaret Carroll Boardman Ph.D.
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New Research Suggests High Fructose Corn Syrup Triggers Addictive Consumption Similar to Drugs

6 June 2013, PRNewswire, Citizens for Health.org -- "New research by a neuroscientist has found that lab animals self-dosing on High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), the industrial sweetener used in hundreds of grocery store products, followed the same pattern of behavior as those that were self-dosing on cocaine.

 

Addiction expert, Dr. Francesco Leri, an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, presented his findings to the Canadian Association for Neuroscience on May 23 that showed how High Fructose Corn Syrup caused behavioral reactions in rats similar to those produced by addictive drugs. He concluded that, "Addiction to unhealthy foods could help explain the global obesity epidemic."

In Dr. Leri's tests, the lab animals could press a lever and receive as many doses of HFCS as they wanted. He discovered that the more he increased the sweetness concentration of the HFCS, the more the subjects worked to obtain it.

 

"As you increase the percentage (of HFCS), the animals work harder and harder for each infusion," said Dr. Leri.  "There is now convincing neurobiological and behavioral evidence indicating that addiction to food is possible."

 

Currently the US Food and Drug Administration's legal limit on the fructose content of HFCS is 55 percent, but recent studies have shown fructose levels in popular soft drink brands exceed the legal amount. The Corn Refiners Association, which represents the producers of HFCS, has acknowledged that a version of HFCS with 90 percent fructose has been in use for decades, even though it has never been tested for safety or approved by the FDA.

 

Consumer rights groups are rallying to protest, including Citizens for Health, which has produced a video to educate families, and has filed an FDA petition that calls for the disclosure of exact fructose concentrations of HFCS on food packages and stops food makers from using non-approved HFCS concentrations.  Consumers are encouraged to voice their opinions on the organization's website.

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US Obesity Rates Soar - Americans Consuming Less Sugar but More HFCS

1 August 2013, PRNewswire, CitizensforHealth.org -- "Americans Consuming Less Sugar as Obesity Rate Soars. Increased High Fructose Corn Syrup Consumption Mirrors Obesity Epidemic.  

 

Statistics released by the United States Department of Agriculture show that per capita consumption of natural sugar has dropped significantly in the last 40 years, from almost 100 pounds per person in 1968, to less than 67 pounds per person in 2011, while the nation's obesity rate has risen dramatically in the same time period.

 

"Real sugar has been in our food supply for over a hundred years, suggesting that something other than sugar consumption is behind this recent jump in obesity," said Jim Turner, chair of the consumer advocacy group Citizens for Health.

 

Adult obesity rates have more than doubled since the 1970's, making the obesity epidemic one of the country's most serious health problems.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention  reports that today, one out of three adults is obese. In children the statistics are even more alarming.  In the last 30 years, adolescent obesity rates have more than tripled.

 

"So the question is, what's making Americans so fat?," asked Turner.  "We strongly suspect that High Fructose Corn Syrup is responsible for our obesity epidemic."

 

In 1970, per capita consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) was less than one pound per year. By 1980 it had reached 19 pounds per person per year, and by 1999 the average American consumed close to 64 pounds of the industrial sweetener.  A cheap substitute for real sugar (real sugar is made from sugar cane or sugar beets), High Fructose Corn Syrup is chemically derived from an intensive enzyme process.  It can be found in thousands of supermarket products and in almost every major soda and sports drink brand.  The Corn Refiners Association reported that 19 billion pounds of the man-made sweetener was shipped in 2011.

 

"If you consume sugar, do so in moderation.  Avoid HFCS completely," Turner added.

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Taco Bell will drop kid's meals

23 July 2013, CNNMoney.com -- "Taco Bell announced Tuesday it has become the first national fast food chain to drop its kid's meals, saying it will discontinue the toy and food combos at some locations this month and across the brand by next year.

 

"Kid's meals and toys simply no longer make sense for us to put resources behind," said Greg Creed, chief executive officer of Taco Bell, in a statement early Tuesday. He added that the move will have an "insignificant impact on sales." 

 

Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brands (YUM, Fortune 500), which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut. KFC plans to continue to offers its Li'l Bucket Kids Meal, but that combo does not have a toy in it. Instead, it has a "Weird But True" fact card from National Geographic.

 

Kids meals have been criticized by some public health groups for contributing to childhood obesity by making young children more eager to eat high-calorie, fast food meals. The decision was cheered by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which called on competitors such as McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500), Burger King (BKW) and Wendy's 

(WEN) to follow suit."

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Increased High Fructose Corn Syrup Consumption Mirrors Obesity Epidemic

Increased High Fructose Corn Syrup Consumption Mirrors Obesity Epidemic | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

1 August 2013, FoodIdentifyTheft.com infographic -- "Statistics released by the United States Department of Agriculture show that per capita consumption of natural sugar has dropped significantly in the last 40 years, from almost 100 pounds per person in 1968, to less than 67 pounds per person in 2011,while the nation’s obesity rate has risen dramatically in the same time period."

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Soft drinks boost kids’ sugar intake – but may not increase BMI

Soft drinks boost kids’ sugar intake – but may not increase BMI | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

17 July 2013, Beverage Daily, Caroline Scott-Thomas -- "British schoolchildren get about 10% of their total energy from soft drinks – but new research suggests high consumption levels do not necessarily lead to higher BMIs."

GR2Food's insight:

This study highlights that many studies have been done on soda consumption and weight gain, especially in the U.S.  However, this study looked at British school children whose consumption of sugary drinks is more likely to be fruit juice and smoothies... these did not promote the same increase in BMI as the U.S. soda based studies.

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More TV time equals more sugary drinks for kids, says study

More TV time equals more sugary drinks for kids, says study | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

The more time children spend watching television, and are exposed to commercials, the higher their consumption of sweetened beverages, new research finds.

GR2Food's insight:

Study conducted in Sweden with 1,700 children ages 2 to 4.

 

Young children’s screen habits are associated with consumption of sweetened beverages independently of parental norms, International Journal of Public Health, April 2013. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00038-013-0473-2

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